Michelin-starred chefs turned out in force yesterday at the Wellocks’ The Perfect Ingredient Show 2012 held in Nelson, Lancashire.

The chefs, who included Sat Bains, Daniel Clifford, John Campbell, Frances Atkins, Michael Wignall and James Mackenzie, were panellists at the chef conference which covered subjects ranging from the management of supplier relationships and local produce to the pros and cons of appearing on the Great British Menu and television in general.

Bains, who first appeared on the BBC2 TV show the Great British Menu in 2007 and won through to the final, told delegates: “Ultimately, it gives you a great profile on the chef stage and there’s a group of customers out there now doing a Great British Menu tour of the country, working their way through all the restaurants featured. There’s a family feeling. People are getting an experience of what’s happening in the British Isles, not just in London, because a lot of us aren’t based down there.”

In a panel discussion on the importance of using local produce, Wignall of Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey, said: “Although I work in the South I originate from the North so I tend to be loyal to produce from the north of England. For me local is about sourcing produce from the British Isles – you can’t get Yorkshire rhubarb in Surrey.”

Wignall added that about 70% of his menu at his eponymous restaurant featured British produce, but he had no objections in using prime quality European produce to enhance his food offering.

Approximately 500 chefs, operators and suppliers from across Britain attended the conference and supplier exhibition at Wellocks’ headquarters in the North-west. More than 60 artisanal suppliers and producers from the British Isles and Europe were displaying their products during the conference.

Wellocks managing director James Wellock commented: “I was absolutely over the moon with how it went yesterday; the quality of the visitors was great. It was amazing that so many high profile chefs had given up a whole day to come and be there.”


Look out for our full report of the show in 6 April edition of Caterer.

View more photos from the Wellocks The Perfect Ingredient Show on Table Talk >>

By Amanda Afiya

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